News Analysis |
Pakistan People Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lambasted the ousted PM Nawaz Sharif for following a set script to save himself even, if he had to harm others, [hoping to receive respite, if foreign forces intervene, after his threatening rhetoric].
Bilawal came short of leveling treason charges against the veteran politician but showed surprise that a person who served the country three-times as a PM was this naïve to issue such a damaging statement which was completely wrong and irresponsible. Nawaz should not indulge himself into such statements which can have serious repercussions for the country and harm it in any way, he asserted.
During the iftar dinner, Bilawal declared that he will contest the upcoming general elections from NA-200 and expressed a hope that people of the constituency will elect him as they did his mother Benazir Bhutto. He criticized Nawaz Sharif for only showing concern towards “khailaey makhlooq”, while ignoring the real issues faced by the Pakistanis.
Nawaz has faced immense criticism over his statement. It also gave an opportunity to his opponents to question his loyalty to the country he served on three occasions as PM. There is nothing wrong in criticizing the federal government if one looks at the depleting reserves.
Young Bhutto lamented government for failing to address water crisis, healthcare and education sectors, which have deteriorated over the year since PML-N government took over. Bilawal had been blaming the federal government for water shortages facing Sindh. Later on, in a tweet, he blamed Indus River System Authority (IRSA) for water issues, “PPP will continue to protest against Irsa’s discrimination & federal government’s callous attitude.
Water shortage needs to be shared equally. Divisive policies must end. We argue with India for downstream water rights but then deprive our provinces of the same! #PaniAurBijliDoh”. He mocked Nawaz for echoing the slogan of “mujhey kiyoon nikala” whenever he is asked to tell the source of his mammoth wealth accumulated/stashed abroad.
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Zardari in Lahore
In a separate iftar dinner at Karol Ghati hosed by the Lahore chief Azizur Rehman, PPP co-chairman Ali Zardari accused PML-N’s ‘Quaid for life Nawaz Sharif of being in cahoots with the military establishment for the past 30 years. Nawaz is only talking against the establishment after being only disqualified, otherwise, all was well at the house of Sharif.
‘The country must always come first’, Zardari asserted. Zardari who was once a bitter rival of Nawaz offered a piece of advice that Nawaz should know that “homeland comes prior to power.” Challenging the loyalty of the Sharif’s, Zardari said, the house of Nawaz was not ready to be loyal to their own country as he was only fond of power.
Bilawal had been blaming the federal government for water shortages facing Sindh. Later on, in a tweet, he blamed Indus River System Authority (IRSA) for water issues, “PPP will continue to protest against Irsa’s discrimination & federal government’s callous attitude.
However, he argued that PPP may soften its stance if Nawaz first reveals the sources of his income as Nawaz had come to the country empty-handed. Raising finger at the stark difference between the wealth disparity of Sharif family at the time of migration to Pakistan and now, he questioned the source of income of the family, which had no resources before.
What is the Real Problem?
Nawaz has faced immense criticism over his statement. It also gave an opportunity to his opponents to question his loyalty to the country he served on three occasions as PM. There is nothing wrong in criticizing the federal government if one looks at the depleting reserves which have reached $10.799 billion.
Similarly, the foreign debt of the country has reached staggering $91.8 billion. Despite the lull in oil prices, circular debt has surpassed the mark of Rs 1,000 billion emerging as a serious threat to the Pakistan economy. Moreover, chronic structural problems of the country remain and some of the indicators have gone worse in the tenure of PML-N.
Read more: Witch-hunt or a blunder?
But, PPP must take responsibility for failing to transform Sindh and Karachi. After 18th amendment, provinces can’t get away by putting all the blame on the federal government for their own ills and governance failure. Rather than blaming Nawaz for its own failures in Sindh, PPP must accept its own shortcoming in the province it has ruled for decades.